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Sample Plan Objectives and Projects

Plan Objectives & Projects in the Arts


Preliminary: To continue my study of dance and dance history with an emphasis on performance, dance theory, and esthetics. Dance history will focus on French ballet. I will continue my study of French.


Final: An exploration of dance, race, and gender in Brazil drawing on materials from an internship in Salvador, Bahia.
: Choreograph and perform a major dance collaboration. The performance includes influences of Brazilian dance, multi-media aspects such as film, slides, and spoken word all intertwined together into original choreographed pieces. Collaboraiton with other dancers, performer, and musicians.


Preliminary: Exploration of the subjective experience of the American soldier in the 20th century through screenplays and a paper, plus production of an original screenplay or play.

Final: Exploration of the subjective experience of soldiers in Vietnam through the writings of a documentary research paper and the development and production of an original play. Also the writing of three screenplays exploring themes of violence, love, and hate experienced by complex contemporary characters.
: Develop/write/produce original play about soldiers in the field during Vietnam. Independent film script. Two short screenplays.


Preliminary: (1) To gain the skills necessary to pursue graduate level studies in violin and viola performance and (2) to become familiar with various philosophies of music education, especially those methods pertaining to string instrument instruction.


Preliminary: A study of choral music with a focus on medieval monophonic and polyphonic chant as a genre of vocal music.
will include the conducting of a men’s chorus.


Preliminary: A study of “non-art” visual images in the media and their effect on American society as a whole as well as on the individual person. This research will be accompanied by a series of my own photographs that will reflect the ideas above, in a “fine art” form.

VISUAL ARTS/painting & WRITING/fiction

Final: An exploration, in painting and writing, of conflict arising in public vs. private perceptions of self and environment, which a focus on spiritual/emotional tension inherent in such conflict.
: An exhibition of paintings. A collection of short fiction. A paper examining the expression of private vs. public perceptions in painting.


Preliminary: Create a body of photographs that conveys a visual narrative, supported by research papers.

Final: An examination of how image and format function within the discipline of photography and the book arts.
: Create a series of photographs and handmade books complimented by a paper discussing a group of artists whose work has influenced the medium.


Preliminary: Effective actors employ efficient, expressive codes of nonverbal communication to transmit meaning to an audience. What codes do they employ and how effective are they? The effects of physical disability(ies)?

Final: A study of theater arts with major focus on investigation of physical theater methods. Papers will examine ideas and practices of three theatricians. Special attention will be given to non-text-based modes of generating “meaning.” A separate but related paper on methodology, physical acting training offered in MFA programs shall be submitted. Secondary studies will culminate in a paper on a lighting designer and his or her use of light in small theaters.
: A theatrical demonstration of examples of physical theater methods and meaning. Two lighting designs for Marlboro productions.


Preliminary: The establishment of a framework for the poetry of Randall Jarrell, considering in particular intuitions and imaginations in language occurring in German fairy tales, German Romanticism and German culture, leading to a collection of original poems.

Final: (WRITING/poetry, LITERATURE & HISTORY): A study of the American poet Randall Jarrell, considering him to be a romantic poet profoundly influenced by things German and taking into account the dramatic qualities of his poems, with supporting work in the political history of German’s Weimar Republic, leading to a collection of original poems.
: Two papers and a collection of original poems. The larger paper will discuss the poetry of Randall Jarrell, viewing him as a romantic poet, exploring the worldview expressed in the poems and considering their dramatic aspects. The other paper will discuss the political climate of the Weimar Republic. The poems will reflect the themes explored in the papers.

Plan Objectives & Projects in the Humanities


Preliminary: A study in philosophy focusing on Kant’s epistemology.


Preliminary: An investigation of the status of the Civil Rights movement in urban America from an economic, social, and political perspective.

Final: Theorizing the current role of social activism in the U.S.
The anatomy of the rise of and the resistance to the criminal justice system in Los Angeles.


Preliminary: An exploration of poverty in America with an emphasis on race and gender issues.

Final (American Studies/Sociology): A historical and sociological study of social welfare in the U.S.
Project: An exploration of documentary images of the poor in the context of shifting ideas and policies of social welfare.

AMERICAN STUDIES/Educational Theory

Preliminary: I want to study the past, present, and future of American education.


Preliminary: To examine the relationship between political culture and art in America (U.S.), focusing on the 1920-1950 period and the shift from regionalist painting to abstract expressionism.

Final (American Studies & Visual Arts): to examine the relationship between political culture and art in the U.S. focusing on the first half of the twentieth century.
Project: A paper exploring American regionalist painting during the 1930s and a series of paintings exploring issues of politics and national identity.


Preliminary: Using my knowledge of art history, my objective is to create a series of papers in which I draw a comparative analysis between the two Sun Kings, the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten (1353-1336 BC) & the French king, Louis XIV (1643-1715 AD).

Final (Art History/History/urban architecture): A comparative analysis of the two “Sun Kings (the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten & the French King Louis XIV) evaluating the roles of religion and culture in the urban design and development of ht capital cities of Versailles and Tell
Three papers: (1) The role of religion at Amarna; (2) the court culture of Versailles, and (3) the urban development of the capitals of the Sun Kings.

HISTORY/Asian Studies

Preliminary: An examination of the politics of representation of the Indian caste system with particular attention to insider/outsider distinctions. Through an analysis of literature, film, and news media, I will examine the ways in which the caste system is being questioned/reinforced both in modern-day India and the world at large.


Final: An exploration of Irish republicanism and Irish nationalism.
A series of papers on various aspects of Irish republicanism and nationalism.


Preliminary: A study of the history of the American school as an institution and as an idea with a focus on the changes made during revolutionary periods. Project: A study of the structural change of American schooling at the time of the industrial revolution in view of the structures of schooling in place today.

Final: A study of American educational history in the era from colonialism to the present. The focus is on the history of schooling and its connection to periods of major social change or revolution.
A set of papers with supporting maps and data that presents an understanding of American schooling in several revolutionary periods. A revised design for a present-day alternative school growing out of a sociological analysis of major themes in the history of American alternative schooling.


Preliminary: To continue a study of literature with a focus on modern writers, including Virginia Woolf, Albert Camus, William Faulkner, and Thomas Pynchon.


Preliminary: The establishment of a framework for the poetry of Randall Jarrell, considering in particular intuitions and imaginations in language leading to a collection of original poems.

Final: (Writing/poetry, Literature & History): A study of the American poet Randall Jarrell, considering him to be a romantic poet profoundly influenced by things German and taking into account the dramatic qualities of his poems, with supporting work in the political history of Germany’s Weimar Republic, leading to a collection of original poems.
Project: Two papers and a collection of original poems. The larger paper will discuss the poetry of Randall Jarrell, viewing him as a romantic poet, exploring the worldview expressed in the poems and considering their dramatic aspects. The other paper will discuss the political climate of the Weimar Republic. The poems will reflect the themes explored in the papers.


Preliminary: To continue an exploration in literature focusing on nineteenth century Russian literature, with an emphasis on Dostoevsky. To further my understanding of this literature, I am going to begin studying the Russian language, as well as Russian history and specific aspects of philosophy and religion as they relate to this topic.

Final: A study focusing on the works of Dostoevsky and Camus. An exploration of the individual’s response to the questions raised by the absurd in the works of Dostoevsky and Camus: If there is no God and no absolutes, how then can the individual survive to create meaning, justify knowledge, and live morally?
Two papers. The first is a paper in three parts on Dostoevsky’s novels The Idiot, The Brothers Karamzov, and Demons. The second paper explores atheism and the absurd in the works of Camus. Thematically related supporting work in Russian Orthodox religious thought and modern Russian literature.

Plan Objectives & Projects in the Natural Sciences


Preliminary: An exploration of advanced mathematical topics.
Final (Mathematics): An exploration of the sciences and math with a focus on math.
Two papers on different mathematical topics.

BIOLOGY/Genetics, Evolutionary Biology

Preliminary: A study of genetics and evolutionary biology with a focus on the evolution of the conscious mind.


Preliminary: To gain a broad background in the natural sciences with a concentration on plant ecology. Within this concentration a focus would be placed on plant diseases, with particular emphasis on the American chestnut blight and the reintroduction of the tree to its natural range.


Preliminary: To gain a strong background in the natural sciences and number theory in order to study the paradigms and implementations of computer network security.


Preliminary: A study of animal consciousness, cognition, and behavior. The ethical implications of sentience.

Final: An exploration of veterinary medicine, focusing on aberrant nitrogen metabolism and associated ethical concerns. A study of animal and cellular biology and associated ethical issues.
Project: A set of papers investigating specific disorders of nitrogen metabolism presented in conjunction with a set of ethical position papers. (Fellowship at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute; veterinary technician experience at local vet clinic.


Preliminary: An overview of the biomedical uses of phages with a minor anthropological study of the cultural concepts behind viruses and infectious disease in Latin America. I would like to research the use of phages in place of antibiotics as well as the role of phages in infectious disease. I also want to look at the cultural concepts behind diagnosis and treatment of viruses and infectious disease in Latin America and culminate my research with field work in Latin America.

Final: A study of the bacteriophage life cycle with a focus on using bacteriophages in humans as an alternative to antibiotics.
: A paper examining the process and history behind developing phages as a treatment for bacterial infections in humans. A research paper describing a laboratory project on the potential for using phages as a treatment for tuberculosis. (An internship during the summer of 2001 at the Hatfull Lab at the University of Pittsburgh. Participation in a project examining the development of phages as a treatment for tuberculosis.)

Plan Objectives & Projects in the Social Sciences


Preliminary: A study of economics, with a focus on the economics of education and education policy; project will compare aspects of U.S., Canadian, and Japanese educational systems.


Preliminary: Build a foundation in psychology and investigate clinical approaches to the connection between the body and the mind.


Preliminary: Through a number of essays, I will examine issues in contemporary American society through a sociological perspective. I will most likely include original fiction in which the topics of my academic papers are woven into the narrative.


Preliminary: I am interested in establishing connections between the laws and business practices of the eighties, how the labor movement was affected and has transformed, and how great the effects were on working class people in the U.S.


Preliminary: A study of law as a vehicle for social reform, divided into three parts: (1) the development of Commerce Clause jurisprudence; (2) the effect of contemporary critiques of the effectiveness of the Commerce Clause as a vehicle for social change; and (3) an investigation into the rise of class-action lawsuits as a means for social reform.

Final: (Political Science/Legal Studies): A study of the intersection of Constitutional law and social reform. The study will focus on the federalist balance of power in the development of Constitutional doctrine, and a socio-legal analysis of law as a vehicle for social reform.
(1) A paper addressing the history of the commerce clause of the U.S. constitution, focusing on its effect on federalism; a paper used as a socio-legal critique of the commerce clause, including individual fieldwork; and a paper investigating the rise of cause lawyering and class action lawsuits as a vehicle for social reform.


Preliminary: A study of environmental policy as integrated into third world development in Central America and the Caribbean.

Final (Environmental Studies/Agroecology, Literature): A multi-disciplinary examination of agricultural land use in the American tropics through ecological, literary, and development perspectives.
Two papers: The first will examine the ecological principles of agroforestry systems in the American tropics. The second will explore the shift of agricultural land use due to the invasions of capitalistic development as portrayed through Guatemalan writer Miguel Angel Asturias’ Hombres de Maiz and The Banana Trilogy. Internship in Guatemala researching agroforestry methods used by a farmer in the Peten.


Preliminary: An exploration of linguistics through a study of the Abenaki language with some study of Abenaki culture and history.

Plan Objectives & Projects in the World Studies


Preliminary: An examination of colonial history and the present political economy of Chile through study in the social sciences and an internship. This study will focus on an examination of the historic and current means of land distribution and the ramification of these on current land use in Chile.


Preliminary: To gain a broad background in political science and economics focusing on the area study of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the government structure and the post-war development. I plan to spend the second semester of my junior year in Bosnia, working for an international organization that helps promote peace and reconciliation.

Final: An analysis of the political and economic issues in the case study of Bosnia.
Two papers: The first paper explains the making of foreign policy through levels of analysis using the example of U.S. foreign policy in Bosnia during the conflict and after the Dayton Peace Accords. The second paper focuses on Bosnia’s transition from socialist to the capitalist market economy.


Preliminary: I would like to combine medicinal plant and food identification with ethnographic information, to provide two sides to a subject that interest me: traditional medicine and nutrition in Mexico.

Final: An exploration of topics in medical anthropology with an area focus on Latin America.
A study of healers and healing, both in the past and the present. A study of Mexican cuisine, with a focus on nutritional and medicinal aspects.


Preliminary: The study of cross-cultural communication from an anthropological perspective with a focus on interactions between people from the U.S., Japan, and Argentina.


Preliminary: A study of the philosophy of language in Western thought to see how that compares to the philosophy of language in Eastern thought. The third part of my Plan will be a look at the language of photography and iconography in both traditions. I will have a show of my photographs.

Final (Visual Arts/Photography & Philosophy): A photographic and philosophical investigation of what language means in place. How we use language, both visually and verbally as a vital aspect in understanding.
An installation of photographic images and two papers. One paper dealing with Wittgenstein’s philosophy of language and the other on semiotics.


Preliminary: A study of environmental non-governmental organizations and the effect they have on the formation of international environmental policy. I plan on interning at an international environmental non-governmental organization. (A six-month internship in the UK with War on Want, which works toward global poverty alleviation and specializes in trade unions and workers’ rights.)

Final (Political Science/Economics): A study of the international political economy with a particular focus on the role of transnational corporations in international trade agreement negotiations.
Two papers: an overview of the history and content of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) with an emphasis on the influence transnational corporations have had on specific sections of GATT: Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Trade Related Investment Agreements (TRIMS) and Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS). A second paper exploring the recently established General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS) and analyzing its potential impact on public services.


Preliminary: A study of Nicaraguan revolutionary literature, focusing on poetry, with an emphasis on the Nicaraguan Women’s movement during the 70s and 80s. I want to do my WSP internship in Nicaragua in the spring of 2002. While there, I hope to conduct some interviews and research the historical and modern roles of women in Nicaraguan society.

Cross-disciplinary Plan Objectives & Projects

VISUAL ARTS/Gender Studies

Preliminary: An investigation of gender politics in American society through visual works such as photography and other mixed media; with a special focus on the representation of the female figure.

Final: (VISUAL ARTS) A study that explores daily routines of domesticity and the mundane through the making of art as a ritualistic activity. Also, an exploration of the visual discourse of how the art object affects an individual’s emotional, physical, and cultural being.
An exhibition of mixed media artwork that creates a visual dialogue in which the work made explores the everyday creative process.


Preliminary: Work in photography that examines self-portraiture, to be informed by a study of memoir in literature.


Preliminary: A study of dance and movement therapy, (with a focus on) international/traditional dances that originated as a means of healing, and (comparison of) those theories with more Western dance and movement therapy theories.


Preliminary: A study in physics and philosophy in order to explore where these two disciplines interact, with special emphasis on quantum mechanics.


Preliminary: My Plan will involve psychology, philosophy, and education. I will look at mental health and explore the various ways of curing neurosis — psychotherapy, religion, and specifically education.


Preliminary: A study in the fields of biochemistry and political science with a specific focus on health organizations and their effectiveness.


Preliminary: A study of parentless children and adult-child relationships in contemporary adult and children’s fiction.


Preliminary: To research and write about the founding treaties of the European Union, its system of law, structure, and its relationship to member nations and other inter-governmental organizations.


Preliminary: I plan to gain a comprehensive understanding of the gothic subculture and how it has evolved via the Internet. I plan to use Internet programming as one means of accomplishing this.


Preliminary: To create a background in psychology and dance/movement that may support extended research in a specified field of psychotherapy and psychosomatic studies.


(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)